Fricken Dimes

Mike swears he isn’t planting the dimes.   He swears upside down and sideways that he has nothing to do with them.

I got into a fight with my 13 year old today.   He then said he hated living with me, that all I do was yell.

I stopped to think about that for a minute.  And then I thought about it some more.   And we had a conversation, Andrew and I.

I may have been yelling more.  I don’t know.  I know I’ve been more stressed.   Under more pressure.

So after I had another conversation with Andrew about his attitude and my yelling, I walked towards the downstairs.

Sitting on a ledge, where I had put a couple of knick-nacks, not *really* accessible to anyone, in an awkward spot that would have required someone to lean out dangerously over the stairs, was a dime, perfectly centred between two of the knick-nacks.

I know that the dime is from Mark.  I know that it’s a message from him.   I’m not sure WHAT the message is, but I know that it is a message.

I’m hoping that the message is something along the lines of “You’re doing good.  Keep it up.  I’m here, watching over you.”

Mark in Fruitvale

Stupid Balancing Act

I’ve noticed something about myself recently.   I’m pretty sure it’s not a new phenomenon, but it’s been very evident over the past 4 or 5 months.

Its been especially noticeable to me in the last few weeks.

I put most everyone before me.

I will shove whatever’s going on with me aside in favour of what’s going on for everyone else.

I stopped blogging, for the most part, because I was afraid of hurting someone.  I stopped posting pictures of me and my husband because I didn’t want to upset someone.

I never asked him what he was feeling about it.

I never asked him if it WOULD hurt him.

When we first got together, I asked him if he was strong enough to handle my grief.  I asked him if he was able to deal with the fact that I WOULD cry over my husband.  I asked him if he would be able to handle seeing me upset.

He told me he would.  He did research.   He has given me no reason, through words or actions, to believe anything different.

But then… somehow, somewhere in MY head, I became afraid.  I worried that my posts like the one the other day about how I want my life back would make him think I didn’t want the life we have and are building.

The reality is that I need to express my grief.  I need to cry. I need to blog.  I need to talk to my widowed friends.  I need to go to Camp Widow and run my regional group and I need to be a widow.

It doesn’t change the fact that I am also his girlfriend and for the most part, that’s where my life is.

He’s my Chapter 2.  He’s my “and then.”  He’s my future.

And I still grieve over Mark.

I was trying to balance things that didn’t need balancing.   I was stuck in my own head and that is never a good place to be.

A conversation with him cleared things up.

You’ll be hearing from me more often.   That much silence means I have a LOT to say. :p

I’m done balancing.  I’m going to work more on communication.

Mar & Jane Wedding


Chapter 1


Chubb Lake April 2013


And then… chapter 2. 🙂

The Problem With Being Strong

I’m that person you WANT in a crisis.   I will navigate painful, emotional, rocky waters like a boss.  I will be the person who’s still standing tall when everyone else around has crumpled.  I will take notes, remember details, and make sure the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed.

I am that person that holds everyone else up until they can stand on their own.   And then I stay just a little longer to make sure they’re really stable and steady.

And everyone looks at me and says “OMG you’re so STRONG”

And as everyone else is finding their own inner strength, they all walk away, in their good moods, happy that life is stable again.  Or simply capable of dealing with the shit.

And they look at me, laying broken in a pile on my floor, crying and wonder… “WTF?”

They can’t figure out why, when everything is so wonderful now, when things are going better, when everyone else seems to be happy, I’ve fallen apart.

Why I’m grumpy.

Why I’m sad.

Why I’m crying.

The problem with being strong is that eventually I need to have those breakdowns, too.   I need to release the emotion I’ve kept in a tight little box because it’s grown and it’s now overwhelming me.

I can’t do that until it’s safe to do so.  Until someone else is strong enough to hold me up.  Until someone else can take care of the details for me while I lay broken on the floor.

But the problem with being strong is that everyone is confused when I do that.    They don’t get it.    They don’t understand why, after being so strong for so long, after being everyone’s rock, that I’ve fallen apart.   After all, things are good now.  What is there to fall apart over?

But that’s the only time I can do it.   I can only fall apart if there’s someone who can stand with me while I lean on them like everyone else leaned on me during the times of crisis.

Things are going really freaking good right now.  Things are awesome.   A lot of stresses have been resolved, or are in the middle of being resolved and we can see the end, and others can be strong for themselves.

And I’m falling apart because it’s a safe time to do so.

I just don’t know if I can lean, or if I’ll end up picking myself up off the floor later.   I haven’t tested that yet.    I’m still trying to be strong for everyone else.

It's Going to be Ok Someday

I Want My Life Back

There’s this part of me.  This incredibly sad, lonely, hurting part of me that is curled up in a ball.   That has fallen into a black hole of despair and bleakness.

She’s crying.

She’s begging over and over and over…

“I want my life back”

I want what seems real and normal and natural.

I want the other half of my parenting team.

I want the balance.

I want the yin to my yang.

I want what is familiar and easy and uncomplicated.

I want my LIFE back.

She is the part of me that will never stop grieving.  That will never stop missing Mark.  That will never stop wondering what the FUCK happened?!?

She’s the part of me that can’t make sense of this new life I’ve been thrown into.

It hurts me, to give life to those words.  “I want my life back” because it suggests I don’t want the life I have.

I do.

I love Mike.  I love our life.  I love where I live.  I love the direction things in my world are headed.

But I can’t be authentic to who *I* am, to how *I* feel, without acknowledging that I do, indeed, on some level, want my life back.

I want Mark, and who he was, and how we related, and how easy it was to talk to him, and how after 14 years he KNEW what I needed and I didn’t have to explain or ask or anything but tell him that I was hurting.

But I wouldn’t be hurting if he were here.   And there is the crux of that painful acknowledgement.

I want my life back.

But I love where my life is and where it’s heading.

Grief is a nasty mindfuck.

I Miss You

What’s Fair?

I’m trying to find a balance in my life.   It’s hard to find balance.  Especially when there’s conflicting needs.

I had a good day today.  Spent some time with some adorable boys on a farm, got my son’s room completed so that we can move his stuff in there tomorrow, and had a pretty freaking awesome dinner.

Something triggered me.  I’m not sure exactly what.  I have a suspicion, but I’m not 100% sure.

The grief welled up.

The suitcase broke open.

And I had kids around and dinner to get on the table and lunches to make and boys to snuggle and a man to connect with.

So I tried to shove it back in the suitcase.

Is it fair to my boys for me to start randomly crying? with no discernable trigger?

Is it fair to my new man to greet him at the door with tears in my eyes?

Is it fair to everyone else, who seems to have no issues with the pain of loss, to remind them that he’s gone?

Is it fair?

I don’t want to bring my kids down.  I’ve read about they psychology of kids and how upsetting it is for them to see their parent crying and sad.   I don’t want them to feel like they have to nurture and protect and cheer me up.

I don’t want to ruin (I don’t know that that’s the best of words) my evening, which is so incredibly short, with my man as he gets home from work, to eat, shower and go to bed within an hour by crying over my deceased husband.

The problem is that when I push the grief aside, it comes out as cranky.

I had to apologize to my son tonight for cranking at him.   He, in all his wisdom, said to me “why don’t you just ask us to leave you alone for a bit? Or tell us that you’re taking some time?”

He’s so 13.  So wonderfully black and white.

At any rate, I’ll give it a shot and see if they actually give me the time I request.

But I’m trying so hard to be fair to everyone else…. I think I’m starting to be unfair to me.

Jan 2009 034

Skittering Away….

I’m 15 months out now.

When I think of my life, I think that things have really changed, that life is good, like things are heading in the right direction.

And they are.   Things ARE good.  Things ARE heading in the right direction.

But that doesn’t change the fact that I’m 15 months out.

I’m in my second year of being a widow.  My second year of life without Mark.    I do a very good job of putting the grief into a box.

But I find it’s affecting me in ways I didn’t expect.

I’m triggered easier.

And the one I notice the most is that other people’s grief hurts me.  Regardless of my emotional attachment to the person grieving or the person they lost (or are losing) their grief hurts.

I find myself (especially on Facebook) sending out a quick little ❤ or a (((HUGS))) and then shying away from it.

I feel like I’m water on hot oil in a frying pan… skittering away from the source of the pain.

It’s not who I am.  I want to love them.  I want to be there for them.  But as soon as I read about their pain and their loss, I’m skittering away..

It hurts.   I hurt for them.   I hurt for me and for my loss.


The Box

There’s a tiny little box in my heart.

In that box I keep my tears, my sadness, my sorrow, my grief.

I can usually keep the box tightly closed.  I can usually keep the grief at bay, without thinking too much about how much it hurts.   After all, there’s so much amazing joy in my life.  There’s love and life and laughter.

But the grief shows up unexpectedly, at inopportune times, and I’m forced to shove it back in the box.

Other times, the box breaks open, much like a suitcase filled to overcapacity and exploding in a flurry of emotions.

overfilled suitcase


I’m not very articulate tonight.   Tonight, I just can’t keep the box closed.  Everything is exploding out and regardless of how much I try to focus on the positive, the happy things, the good memories…  The sadness is just overwhelming.  It’s settled over me like a blanket.

I wish it was easier.  I wish the grieving process was linear and that at X date out, we’re at a certain level of grieving.   That at some point the sadness wouldn’t overwhelm or shred my heart.

It’s not.

Tonight, I am just.




I am Just

If you’re a child of the 80’s and a fan of science fiction – you’ll remember the TV mini-series “V” that was on in the early 80’s.

One of the scenes I remember vividly is when Robert Englund (Willie) meets Diane Carey (Harmony) when Robert is lost.   He is a stranger in a foreign land, not *quite* understanding the language and having difficulties finding his way around.

Harmony Moore: Don’t let it spaz you. Let me help you.
Willie: Help, yes!
[pulling out the map]
Willie: Help to go
[pointing to a spot on the map]
Willie: to this place.
Harmony Moore: You don’t know where to go?
Willie: I’m just.
Harmony Moore: You mean “lost.”
Willie: [he gets it] Lost! Yes…

After Mark died… I felt the same way…. a stranger in a foreign land not *quite* understanding the language.   Suddenly everything I knew didn’t make sense any more.  I was just.

People would talk to me and I would look at them with confusion.   They were speaking the language I’d been speaking all my life but suddenly it didn’t make sense anymore.

My life didn’t make sense.  Who I was didn’t make sense.

I was just.

I am coming to the point now where I’m no longer just.  Where the words are starting to make sense again and I am starting to understand better.   And then every once in a while…. the world stops making sense again and I am just.   Especially when it’s one of my kids who is hurting… and I can’t help them…. because they are just and I don’t know how to make the world make sense for them.

Lost sign